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[suh b-soom] /səbˈsum/
verb (used with object), subsumed, subsuming.
to consider or include (an idea, term, proposition, etc.) as part of a more comprehensive one.
to bring (a case, instance, etc.) under a rule.
to take up into a more inclusive classification.
1525-35; < Medieval Latin subsūmere, equivalent to Latin sub- sub- + sūmere to take; see consume
Related forms
subsumable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for subsume
  • He has technique to burn, but he also has a chameleonlike ability to subsume himself in the music.
  • Games have the potential to subsume almost all other forms of entertainment media.
  • He could subsume anything to his phrasing, with his rhythmic hesitations, elisions of words and sudden swells.
  • Data networks will subsume voice networks, but the ghosts of telecom will live on in the underlying, invisible technology.
  • The self-interests of the corporation do not subsume the self-interests of the rest of us.
  • We have no categories that are inclusive enough to subsume him.
  • The summary's articulation is sufficiently broad to subsume the plaintiffs' more specific allegations.
British Dictionary definitions for subsume


verb (transitive)
to incorporate (an idea, proposition, case, etc) under a comprehensive or inclusive classification or heading
to consider (an instance of something) as part of a general rule or principle
Derived Forms
subsumable, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from New Latin subsumere, from Latin sub- + sumere to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for subsume
1530s, from Mod.L. subsumere "to take under," from L. sub "under" + sumere "to take."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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